PM Khan among those targeted by India using Israeli spyware

Web DeskWeb Editor

19th Jul, 2021. 06:54 pm
Imran Khan

The Indian government used Israeli spyware to target two numbers registered to or once known to have been used by Prime Minister Imran Khan, it was revealed on Monday.

More than 1,000 phone numbers in India appeared on the list, according to a month-long collaborative investigation by The Washington Post, The Guardian and 15 media partners in 10 countries under the Pegasus project.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s most prominent political rival, Rahul Gandhi, was also twice selected as a potential surveillance target in leaked phone numbers data, making him one of the dozens of Indian politicians, journalists, activists and government critics whose numbers were identified as possible targets for the Israeli company.

The phone numbers belonging to at least five of Gandhi’s close friends and other Congress party officials were also identified as potential targets using the spyware, according to a leaked list of potential targets selected by NSO group customers.

Journalists emerge as a major focus in the records, including several covering defence and politics at major newspapers, such as the Indian Express and the Hindu, and others associated with the Wire, a media partner of the Pegasus project.

The consortium verified identities of the people associated with more than 300 of the numbers in India.

It is not known how many of the phones on the list were actually targeted for surveillance or how many attempts were successful.

Forensic analyses performed on 22 smartphones in India whose numbers appeared on the list showed that 10 were targeted with Pegasus, seven of them successfully.

Eight of the 12 inconclusive results involved Android phones, which do not log the information needed for the method used to uncover infection.

Adsense 300 x 250